Bhanuka Rajapaksa takes back retirement decision

Bhanuka Rajapaksa takes back retirement decision

Rajapaksa is learnt to have withdrawn the retirement letter submitted to Sri Lanka Cricket on January 3.

Sri Lanka cricketer Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Sri Lanka cricketer Bhanuka Rajapaksa. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Mere days after announcing his retirement from international cricket, Bhanuka Rajapaksa has changed his mind as he withdrew the resignation letter handed to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by him last week.

Rajapaksa, who cited family obligations as the reason behind his decision, had raised many eyebrows by the suddenness of his decision. However, he is set to be available for the country across all formats once again.

“I have very carefully considered my position as a player, husband and am taking this decision looking forward to fatherhood and associated familial obligations,” Rajapaksa’s letter to the board read.

However, on January 13, renowned cricket administrator Roshan Abeysinghe took to his Twitter account to inform the withdrawal of Rajapaksa’s letter submitted to the board. “Great news! Welcome back @BhanukaRajapak3 Cricketer Bhanuka Rajapakshe withdraws his resignation letter handed over to Sri Lanka Cricket – SLC” it read.

Rajapaksa’s retirement decision was believed to have been propelled by the new fitness guidelines for the Sri Lanka players. The 30-year-old had become a regular in the Sri Lanka setup before his public criticism of the board and differences with head coach Mickey Arthur following his omission from the team ran him into controversy. Resultantly, he was slapped a US$ 5000 fine before gradually making his way into the national team again.

He made his T20I debut in 2019 in Lahore against Pakistan, having so far played 18 matches for 320 runs at an average of 26.66. He debuted in the 50-over format in 2021 in Colombo against India and tallies 80 runs at 17.80 in five games. He recently led the Galle Gladiators to runners-up finish in the second edition of the Lanka Premier League, where the Gladiators went down by 23 runs against the Thisara Perera-led Jaffna Kings.

Following the announcement of his retirement, former Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga had urged him to reconsider his decision. “Representing your country at the international level is not an easy task and players always face so many challenges. I truly believe that @BhanukaRajapak3 has a lot more to give to Sri Lankan cricket and I request him to reconsider his decision to retire from international cricket,” Malinga wrote on his Twitter account.